January 2018
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Should Politics be Involved at Work?

I work at a VERY conservative company.  I would guess that at least 95% of the management and 85% of the employees are classic Texan Republicans.  This usually doesn’t bother me in the least…except around elections.

We are a privately owned company and our owner sees no problem in sending out propaganda emails and even mentions his politics at big company meetings.  In 2008 he told us all to vote against Obama.  I believe his exact words at this year’s annual company birthday party were, “It’s no secret that I thought our country was headed in a ruinous direction and these last election results have given me hope.”

I am constantly thinking two things:

1)  Isn’t it wrong to promote specific political views at work?  Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Green Party members, etc. usually agree that politics are to be left at home.

2)  Isn’t it odd to preach to the choir?  Almost everyone I work with is a Republican themselves (heck, this is Texas after all)…why is he going out of his way to only offend the few of us who rather not hear about politics on the job?

I know we are a privately owned company so our owner doesn’t have to worry about some things that public company leaders have on their minds, but to me, the legality of it shouldn’t matter.  It just seems rude.  I’m not a member of a specific party, but I don’t go around pushing my candidates on everyone.  I thought it was just common courtesy.

Do you think politics should be a part of your working environment?  Would receiving email propaganda at work tick you off?

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5 comments to Should Politics be Involved at Work?

  • We’re not allowed to use university email for propoganda purposes. It’s a big thing in ethics training and we get a reminder ever election season.

    As social scientists, politics do come up a lot in class, but the view we teach is very pragmatic. With any political decision there are costs and benefits and we can calculate some of those, but others are moral or philosophical decisions and as economists we cannot make those judgments. All we can do is talk about efficiency and what happens to Y when X is done to obtain Z. Whether Z is worth the effect on X and Y is often not for us to say (unless we can put all those numbers into dollar terms, which sometimes we can and sometimes we can’t).
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  • Yes, #2 is odd. I live in one of the most liberal parts of one of the most liberal states (MA), and I always find it funny when people picket about causes that everyone is already on board on. If these people really wanted to make an impact, wouldn’t it be more effective to go to a place where they weren’t surrounded by like minded folks?

    I swear all the hippies from the 60′s moved to the Berkshires and settled here.

  • @Nicole, I’m glad your email isn’t misused. I sometimes think about emailing him back with propaganda from the other side but figure that would not be seen as humorous as intended.

    @First Gen American, haha, good to know that lots of people pick easy audiences to make themselves feel better…

  • I would think your owner would have more tact and common sense. I do enjoy discussing politics, and there are very few people I can talk politics with from the ‘opposite side’ because some people get very defensive. Therefore, I don’t discuss it. I wonder if your owner is trying to exert power and trying to get employees to vote his way almost as a threat? Again, you said he is preaching to the choir though.

    So, I say, very inappropriate!
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  • @Everyday Tips, I agree. Innappropriate. You can talk politics with me any time since I don’t actually have a set stance on everything yet, lol. :-)